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​​1. How will The Safety Competencies contribute to safer patient care?

The Safety Competencies provides a framework of six core competency domains that all health professionals can incorporate into educational programs and professional development activities. By contributing to the patient safety education of healthcare professionals, The Safety Competencies contributes to safer patient care.

2. How was The Safety Competencies developed, and who was involved in the process?

Stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and partnerships are behind the development of The Safety Competencies. Here are the highlights:

  • CPSI’s Education and Professional Development Advisory Committee spearheaded the project to develop a framework of safety competencies.
  • The advisory committee reviewed literature and did an environmental scan, and determined what relevant patient safety education activities were taking place across the country for healthcare professionals.
  • The advisory committee identified the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are needed for patient safety. These “buckets” would eventually become competencies.
  • CPSI partnered with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to coordinate and facilitate the development of the framework.
  • A steering committee of expert educators came together to oversee the project and to identify the core competency domains suitable for all healthcare professionals.
  • Seven working groups made up of volunteer interprofessional educators and content experts further developed each domain.
  • National consultation involving over 500 organizations across Canada was completed.
  • A national consensus conference was held to review and consolidate the results of the working groups.
  • Further revisions and consultations took place, and the original seven domains were collapsed into six core domains of competence in 2008.

3. Who were the steering committee members who guided the development of The Safety Competencies?

The steering committee members were Susan Brien, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (formerly with CPSI); David Gregory, University of Lethbridge; Judy King, physiotherapy consultant; David Rosenbloom, McMaster University; Sam Short, Canadian Medical Association; Marlene Smadu, University of Saskatchewan and Chair - CPSI Education and Professional Development Advisory Committee; Susan Tallet, Hospital for Sick Children; Gord Wallace, Canadian Medical Protective Association. The committee was supported by Dr. Jason Frank, project coordinator with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

4. How can I obtain a copy of The Safety Competencies?

The Safety Competencies, as well as additional information, can be found at

5. How will CPSI share information about The Safety Competencies and encourage health professionals to use the framework?

A number of important target audiences have been identified as key collaborators to provide leadership and help accelerate the uptake of The Safety Competencies. For example, CPSI voting member organizations; other national, provincial, and territorial health organizations and governments; universities and colleges; health educators; and individual champions and early adopters will all play a role in dissemination and stakeholder engagement. Targeted tactics are used to reach specific intended audiences.

CPSI’s Education and Professional Development Committee was also given approval to create a subcommittee devoted exclusively to implementing the framework. This subcommittee was mandated to develop the appropriate support and tools needed to sustain early adopters, and to assist in developing the second edition of The Safety Competencies. The following organizations appointed representatives to sit on the implementation subcommittee: 

  • Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
  • Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada
  • Canadian Association of Interns and Residents
  • Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns
  • Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Canadian Nurses Association
  • Canadian Nursing Students Association
  • College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities of Canada
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences

The implementation subcommittee made recommendations on faculty engagement and development, incentives, and drivers, making the link to a culture of safety, and the second edition of The Safety Competencies.

CPSI invites everyone interested in health education to become familiar with the competencies outlined in the framework and help disseminate and integrate them so that all healthcare professionals recognize the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to enhance patient safety across the spectrum of healthcare in Canada.

6. How can our organization encourage uptake of The Safety Competencies?

Share The Safety Competencies widely, and plan a meeting or presentation to discuss the framework in detail. CPSI has developed a speaker’s kit for this purpose. It shows you how to:

  • Review and discuss the safety competencies outlined in the framework with your colleagues, involving all types of health professionals who work in your organization or institution
  • Identify which competencies your organization and individual providers already meet, and which competencies require more attention and learning
  • Decide how the competencies can be implemented in your workplace
  • Determine how the competencies can be incorporated into education and professional development opportunities

Organizations and individuals can use this document to help teach, learn, assess, and implement the safety competencies. CPSI can also assist by delivering presentations and answering your questions directly.

7. How does the use of simulation in healthcare education fit with The Safety Competencies and patient safety education?

Simulation is an important part of patient safety education. CPSI’s goal is to encourage teaching institutions and other organizations that use simulation to integrate the framework’s competencies into their curriculum. Simulation can support the development of competencies that all healthcare practitioners should have to ensure patient safety.

8. Will The Safety Competencies be marketed as part of a national curriculum for patient safety?

That possibility was explored, but due to the regional and language realities, the context of how and where education is offered, and the dynamic nature of research and education, it wasn’t selected as a strategy. The Safety Competencies provides a unique set of core competency domains suitable for all health professionals to incorporate into educational programs and professional development activities.

9. What are some of the next steps associated with The Safety Competencies?

CPSI is now focusing on dissemination and stakeholder engagement activities. The Safety Competencies needs to be understood and implemented by healthcare practitioners, with the assistance of CPSI and early adopters of the framework in academia and practice settings. 

CPSI is also interested in becoming involved in opportunities that promote the uptake of The Safety Competencies, including demonstration projects, pilot projects, and other partnerships that could promote the adoption of the framework. Watch for more updates about the competencies at

10. Who do I contact for more information on The Safety Competencies? 

Please email or visit for more information on The Safety Competencies.